p17 enfield rechambering
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Thread: p17 enfield rechambering

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2013

    Default p17 enfield rechambering

    hi guys I have a p17 enfield made by wichester its chambered for a 30-06 imp I would like to rechamber it to a 308 norma magnum this rifle is not original so i'm not worried about that who could I get to do this . thanks guys

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Oceanside, California


    I am surprised that no one has replied to your post. A collector rather than a gunsmith, I can speak only in generalities and perhaps offer considerations.

    The rifle you propose would of course require a rechambering, opening the bolt face (to accommodate the larger dim diameter of the magnum cartridge) as well as magazine and presumably feed ramp alterations. Then such as the 'cock on closing' issue might well be addressed too. What about the stock and perhaps a reblue? Sights? It is also possible that for safety reasons, the barrel should be replaced. Someone else in this forum such as Chuck in Denver would be the expert's expert on all this.

    These matters translate into economic considerations which in my mind would tend to strongly mitigate against such work. The chief one is the costs versus the 'investment return'. It seems most likely you would spend far more than the worth of the result. As a utility sporter, this would clearly seem the case although the potential loss would be mitigated by less total investment. Still hardly a satisfactory perspective going into a transaction. As an intensive sporting conversion, probably only a greater loss potential.

    A large portion of this analysis too would involve your choice of chambering. The 308 Norma Mag is an interesting cartridge, but there are today likely better and certainly far more economical cartridges available. Your choice is approaching the 'exotic' cartridge realm. This would also play into the resulting value of the conversion. There is likely a quite limited market for a P17 so chambered.

    Of course if you personally have the time, talents, equipment and place to work, that would affect strongly any 'bottom line'. Yet no matter the calculation, short of craftsmanship verging on artisan, your 'creation' would probably be an unwise investment.

    The days of truly cheap military rifles worthy and capable of reasonable sporting conversion are largely reflections of a past era. The availability of good, modern commercial rifles as well as the cost of parts and especially skilled labor; all these things have largely precluded military conversions in any categories other other than economy handy rifles (of which your proposal doesn't reasonably qualify) or 'labors of love'. I have a few in which others have disproportionately invested their efforts. I acquired them for quite moderate investments. Sometimes far better to simply enjoy the fruits of the work of others.

    Just my take and... Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Denver Co


    thanks for the kind words..
    i no longer do custom chambers for anyone but myself.
    the .308 NM, would need, a finish reamer, open the rails for feeding a belted case...and maybe even a new barrel depending how deap they made the 06 AI..or .30 Gibbs...for the record.. you can load the .30 Gibbs just as hot as the .308NM. and not have to use a belted case...do some research on the loading data, pre 1980..and youll find all sorts if neet loads.
    i load for the .30 Gibbs..its right up with the .300Mag, though it does punish your shoulder with a steel buttplate.
    if it aint broke, fix it till it finally is.

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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009


    +1 for everything said already.

    As long as they didn't go too deep and your headspace is correct on the current chamber you will be OK. One thing to remember is that the 308 Norma was designed in part to convert all the military surplus .30-06 rifles into magnum chambering while still being able to fit in the .30-06 length mag box. The NM usually feeds fairly well out of the 17 actions with a little messaging of the feed rails. If you can do the work yourself, it's a good conversion, but like said, it gets spendy when you have someone else do the work.
    Here's a 338 RUM I just finished building on a 1917.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Looking for 6.5-280 RCBS 30 degree improved dies.

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